Yesterday I trundled on the bus to York for a different meeting for Minds and Voices, my peer support group in York with the most wonderful playmates.
It was a lovely fresh, sunny morning and many of the town cows on the Westwood hadn’t deemed it late enough to stand up yet and looked like they were just waking up – they looked like I felt, very tired……..I felt a tad out of sorts today, but knew seeing my playmates would bring back my sparkle……
The aim of this different meeting was to find out more about Admiral Nurses, who are in York and my area…..
Admiral Nurses hope to be Nationwide and are specialist nurses supporting families where a person is living with dementia.
I loved the way that Damian wrote on the invite how the day would start with the ‘obligatory cuppa tea’………..mmmmm, perhaps he knows I’d never go anywhere that didn’t start in this way………😂
Anyway, the taxi and the bus were on time and I arrived in York early enough for me to have an amble in my favourite city in the peace of the morning before heading to the venue.
There were lots of surprises when I arrived as Jean Tottie appeared, from TIDE, Toby, Suzy Webster, Diane and Maureen immediately appeared – I was only expecting George Rook! So a wonderful bonus.
They are all members of LEAP – Lived Experience Advisory Panel for Dementia UK.
They wanted to hear what we do and we wanted to hear what they do and how we can both work together to bring Admiral Nurses to our part of the country.
Suzy did an ice breaker with pretty cards. We had to choose a card from a table that appealed to us and then talk about why we picked it to people next to us.
I initially chose a bright sunflower but then Jean Tottie persuaded me to have this one…for some reason….🙄…..should have been an ipad…🤣
We all then went round and said who we were and whether we were from Minds and Voices or Dementia UK…..as there were 9 from them and 13 of us – marvellous 👍⭐
The picture cards were a very good ice breaker as the minute we’d chose our cards we were all relaxed and animated and chatty around our tables – wonderful
Suzy, went through the agreed ways of working in the meeting – no ground rules, as we like breaking rules too much.😂
There was a moment of panic when Elaine decided to pass out but all of Minds and Voices didn’t bat an eyelid, 😂, but the other people were reaching for their phones and 999 sprang to mind. Of course, we’re all use to it and knew Elaine just needed some fresh air…….🤣 bless….
It was then Rachel Thomson’s turn to talk to us about Admiral nurses and she started off with their wonderful film – Together Again
Eddie asked what the connection was with the Navy and Rachel told him the history of Admiral Nurses…..the Levy family set it up when nothing was there for them…..they have about 240 nurses around the country. Elaine was asking, why doesn’t anyone tell you about Admiral Nurses?
Everyone in Minds and Voices, especially the couples in the room were all the same in their thinking – how they would love to have an Admiral Nurse in their lives……
After lunch and a cuppa, we had 5 minutes from Toby saying what LEAP do and 5 minutes from Damian saying what Minds and Voices do.
LEAP have only been going for just over a year and it’s aim is to advise Dementia UK. There are 14 people with dementia and affected by dementia on the LEAP board. They want to hear our views as an established group of people with dementia – as a group LEAP have advised on Dementia UK website, on factsheets, on a survey, the media campaign of the film that we saw earlier.
Sadly I then had to go as my buses now don’t coincide properly for changes……which is a real bummer……as I missed the important bit of the roundtable discussion for how we can help.
It’s such a comforting service where you see the same person each time – and it’s such a shame there are none in York or my area……….Admiral nurses often help to avoid crises……not rocket science to see what a valuable resource they are..one of the aims today is to find ways how we can work together to bring more pressures on the powers that be to see the common sense in the provision of Admiral nurses. After all, we have MacMillan Nurses are the norm for people with cancer, but once again people with dementia miss out…….☹️
One of the special moments of the day was when Jean Tottie from TIDE gave me a pressie….
Another of my special moment of the day was finally managing to capture poppies in the field. I saw a field the other day and was disappointed not to have my phone to hand to snap its beauty but today I managed it, albeit only a few in the field but still a glorious sight. I like nothing more than seeing a field of poppies, not as common now as they used to be so always sheer delight.